<-- 1988 | 1990 -->
Important events in 1989:
January 20: Republican George H. W. Bush is inaugurated as the forty-first president of the United States, following Republican Ronald Reagan and preceding Democrat Bill Clinton. Dan Quayle is his vice president.
February 14: Iranian dictator/popular ruler Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini issues an Islamic fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, who wrote The Satanic Verses the previous year, which was apparently quite offensive to Muslims.
February 15: The USSR, under Mikhail Gorbachev, orders the last of its troops out of Afghanistan and the Eastern European bloc countries. Also, Boris Yeltsin is elected president, and Gorbachev is named Chairman of the Supreme Soviet.
March: Cold fusion is allegedly produced by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, both scientists at the University of Utah. The scientific community puzzles over it for a while and eventually debunks it.
March 24: The Exxon Valdez, a crude oil tanker, runs aground in Prince William Sound when the ship's drunken captain, Joseph Hazelwood, becomes unable to maneuver the large ship through a charted reef, spilling over 100 million gallons of crude oil into the environment up to and probably exceeding 100 miles away.
June 4: Peaceful protests against communism in China are met with brutal government supression, leading to the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Images of the massacre spread around the world in print and on television, and the image of a lone Chinese student, Wang Weilin, standing in the way of a battery of military tanks becomes an international symbol for the struggle for peace.
June 30: The National Islamic Front instigates a coup and takes control of Sudan.
July: Hungary opens its border with Austria, producing a mass exodus of citizens out of communist Hungary. Hungary goes on to ditch communism permanently, and becomes a constitutional republic, as well as a member of the European Union, the Republic of Hungary.
September: P.W. Botha, South African president, is forced to abandon his post after suffering a stroke seven months earlier. His successor, F.W. de Klerk, promptly freed Nelson Mandela from prison, and together with Mandela the following February, the two brought about the end of Apartheid in South Africa, holding the first official elections that weren't based on race in 1994.
October 18: The Loma Prieta earthquake strikes the San Francisco bay area. The Richter Scale registers 7.1 at the height of the quake and an estimated $40 billion is required for the cleanup.
November: Mystery Science Theater 3000 makes its national debut on the Comedy Channel.
November 9: The Berlin Wall, which had divided Germany into two seperate countries (one capitalist, one communist) since 1961, falls. The depressed Soviet bloc country of East Germany is wholly assimilated into West Germany, and Germany is whole for the first time since it was divided amongst the World War II allies in 1949.
December: The Republic of Slovenia declares itself independent from Yugoslavia. Independence is finally achieved in 1991.
December 20: The United States Drug Enforcement Agency, along with several branches of the armed forces, invades Panama (in which they have no jurisdiction), obsessively bent on capturing dictator Manuel Noriega, which they do on January 3, 1990. Noriega, who was put in power by the CIA and had been on their payroll since 1966, is convicted of countless drug charges (which were not committed within the US border) and sentenced to 40 years in a US prison, where he still lingers. Apparently the whole issue was that the US government didn't appreciate his growing power in Panama, or his growing hubris in the face of his CIA handlers.
Nintendo releases the first incarnation of the Game Boy handheld console, which would go on to become the best-selling console ever (and also set the handheld gaming industry back a couple of years by not upgrading the original Game Boy until the mid-90s).
These people (among others) were born in 1989:
- January 9: Nina Dobrev, actor
- February 21: Scout Taylor-Compton, actor
- March 4: Erin Heatherton, Victoria's Secret model
- March 5: Jake Lloyd, actor
- March 11: Anton Yelchin, actor
- March 16: Peaches Geldof, television presenter
- May 5: Chris Brown, domestically-violent rapper/professional asshole
- May 11: Imogen Poots, actor
- May 29: Riley Keough, actor
- June 20: Christopher Mintz-Plasse, actor
- July 21: Rory Culkin and Juno Temple, actors
- July 23: Daniel Radcliffe, actor
- July 31: Victoria Azarenka, professional tennis player
- August 14: Romeo, rapper
- August 21: Hayden Panettiere, actor
- September 8: Avicii, DJ
- October 1: Brie Larson, actor
- October 11: Michelle Wie, pro golfer
- October 14: Mia Wasikowska, actor
- November 7: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, musician
- December 13: Taylor Swift, country musician
- December 20: Allen Hyde, actor
These people (among others) died in 1989:
- January 7: Emperor Hirohito of Japan, age 88
- January 23: Salvador Dalí, artist/surrealist, age 85
- January 24: Ted Bundy, serial killer, age 42
- March 9: Robert Mapplethorpe, photographer, age 42
- April 12: Abbie Hoffman, counterculture hellraiser, age 52
- April 26: Lucille Ball, actress, age 78
- April 30: Sergio Leone, film director, age 60
- May 3: Christine Jorgensen, the first male-to-female transsexual noticed by the international news media, age 62
- May 20: Gilda Radner, actress, age 42
- June 3: Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, Iranian dictator/popular ruler, age 89
- June 17: John Matuszak, actor/athelete, age 38
- July 3: Jim Backus, actor, age 76
- July 10: Mel Blanc, voice actor, age 81
- July 11: Laurence Olivier, actor, age 82
- July 25: Steve Rubell, owner/operator of Studio 54, age 45
- August 22: Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, age 47
- September 1: A. Bartlett Giamatti, commissioner of baseball (MLB), age 51
- September 22: Irving Berlin, composer, age 101
- September 28: Ferdinand Marcos, former president of the Phillippines, age 72
- October 4: Graham Chapman, actor/comedian/co-founder of Monty Ptython, age 48
- October 6: Bette Davis, actress, age 81
- December 25: Billy Martin, baseball manager and bona-fide fisticuffs enthusiast, age 61; Nicolae Ceaușescu, president of Romania, age 71; Elena Ceaușescu, first lady of Romania, age 73
1989 Nobel prize laureates:
- Peace: The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), for his nonviolent methods of liberation for Tibet.
- Physics: Norman F. Ramsey (of Cambridge University), for the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks; and Hans G. Dehmelt (of the University of Washington, Seattle) and Wolfgang Paul (of the University of Bonn) for the development of the ion trap technique.
- Chemistry: Sidney Altman (of Yale University) and Thomas R. Cech (of the University of Colorado, Boulder) for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA.
- Medicine: J. Michael Bishop (of the University of California School of Medicine) and Harold E. Varmus (also of University of California School of Medicine), for their discovery of the cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes.
- Literature: Camilo José Cela (Spain), for a rich and intensive prose, which with restrained compassion forms a challenging vision of man's vulnerability.
- Economic Sciences: Trygve Haavelmo (of the University of Oslo, Norway), for his clarification of the probability theory foundations of econometrics and his analyses of simultaneous economic structures.
61st Academy Awards:
Please let me know of any other major sports results from 1989, particularly for European sports, as I am chiefly aware of only North American sports, due largely to their ubiquity where I live.
<-- 1988 | 1990 -->